Tuesday, December 29, 2015

They Count Also: African American Girls and Math (Dissertation review p.4)

Just spent the day reading my dissertation and just wanted to share!

Chapter 6 - Discussion, Recommendation, and Implications (page 82 of my dissertation)

What do they mean by good? 
African American fifth grade girls in this study believed that their teachers are in control of all of the learning that takes place and passivity in the mathematics classroom is the key to academic success.  The girls often equated being good as "being quiet and listening to the teacher".  The girls did not describe and I did not observe opportunities for the girls to become empowered and independent thinkers.  The girls were comfortable sharing that being quiet in class meant that they were good students.  If they continue to believe that not having a voice or an opinion in class is the key to success, they will learn only how to play by the rules established by their teachers.  Mathematics classes need to become places where originality, independent and creative thinking, and imagination are valued (Turner, 1995). 

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